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On Saturday (Aug 27) my wife Donna, and I participated in the 30th Annual Hotter than Hell Bicycle Ride in Wichita Falls, TX. I rode the 100 km route (63.5 miles) while Donna opted for the shorter 25 mile route (due to the high heat). We both finished, but this story is not about us.


As I pedaled south out of Burkburnett, TX towards the finish line about 12.5 miles away, I started up a long 2 mile grade (not steep but you know its there) feeling the pain in my legs and suffering in the heat (already over 100 degrees F at 11 am), I saw a recumbent trike on the road in front of me, moving slowly but steadily up the hill. As I got closer, I could see an American flag and a red/gold flag I could not identify flying from the back of the bike. As pulled up behind the rider, the unidentified flag flapped and I could see it was the United States Marine Corps flag flying proudly. At this point I realized this was a rather unusual bicycle. It was not a normal bicycle, it was a hand bike.


The rider was a young man about 22 or 23 years old, proudly wearing his USMC cycling jersey with a camo scheme paint job on his helmet. The young man was pedaling the bike by hand for all he was worth. I looked at the rider; he was sweating rivers and grinning ear to ear as he pedaled up the hill. The rider was a double amputee with 2 prosthetic legs. As I went by, I told him “You go Marine!” and a got a big "OOORAH!” in return. I was reduced to tears and damn near wrecked my bike because I couldn’t see.


I pulled into the rest area at the top of the hill and parked my bike. There was a group of riders standing talking about this young man. 15 grown men and not a dry eye in the group. We all walked back to the road to wait on this young man and then proceeded to “tear the house down” as he pulled in to the rest area. There was another 300 – 400 riders in the rest area who joined in as soon as they realized what was going on. As I left the rest area to pedal last 12 miles back into Wichita Falls, the heat, my sore butt, and the pain in my legs suddenly became very trivial and were no longer a problem. Like everyone else in the rest area when that young Marine pulled in, the last 12 miles were downhill with a tail wind and it was suddenly 65 degrees. I pedaled the last 12 miles like I had just started the ride.


You go Marine!
 

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Great way to start out Sunday morning, reading something like that. What an experience! We are proud of all our serviceman and women, especially those who have sacrifice much for us. To keep it motorcycle-related, we can thank our military for the fact that we can enjoy riding our motorcycles the way we do and where we do. Happy Daze.
 

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Thanks for posting!

On Saturday (Aug 27) my wife Donna, and I participated in the 30th Annual Hotter than Hell Bicycle Ride in Wichita Falls, TX. I rode the 100 km route (63.5 miles) while Donna opted for the shorter 25 mile route (due to the high heat). We both finished, but this story is not about us.


As I pedaled south out of Burkburnett, TX towards the finish line about 12.5 miles away, I started up a long 2 mile grade (not steep but you know its there) feeling the pain in my legs and suffering in the heat (already over 100 degrees F at 11 am), I saw a recumbent trike on the rode in front of me, moving slowly but steadily up the hill. As I got closer, I could see and American flag and a red/gold flag I could not identify flying from the back of the bike. As pulled up behind the rider, the unidentified flag flapped and I could see it was the United States Marine Corps flag flying proudly. At this point I realized this was a rather unusual bicycle. It was not a normal bicycle, it was a hand bike.


The rider was a young man about 22 or 23 years old, proudly wearing his USMC cycling jersey with a camo scheme paint job on his helmet. The young man was pedaling the bike by hand for all he was worth. I looked at the rider; he was sweating rivers and grinning ear to ear as he pedaled up the hill. The rider was a double amputee with 2 prosthetic legs. As I went by, I told him “You go Marine!” and a got a big "OOORAH!” in return. I was reduced to tears and damn near wrecked my bike because I couldn’t see.


I pulled into the rest area at the top of the hill and parked my bike. There was a group of riders standing talking about this young man. 15 grown men and not a dry eye in the group. We all walked back to the road to wait on this young man and then proceeded to “tear the house down” as he pulled in to the rest area. There was another 300 – 400 riders in the rest area who joined in as soon as they realized what was going on. As I left the rest area to pedal last 12 miles back into Wichita Falls, the heat, my sore butt, and the pain in my legs suddenly became very trivial and were no longer a problem. Like everyone else in the rest area when that young Marine pulled in, the last 12 miles were downhill with a tail wind and it was suddenly 65 degrees. I pedaled the last 12 miles like I had just started the ride.


You go Marine!
Semper Fi!
 
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